Mercedes-Benz CL-Class

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Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
2008 Mercedes-Benz CL600 (US)
Parent companyDaimler AG
AssemblySindelfingen, Germany
Guadalajara, Mexico
ClassGrand tourer
Body style(s)2-door coupé
LayoutFR layout
First generation
W140 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class (North America)
PlatformMercedes-Benz W140
Engine(s)5.0L 315 hp (235 kW) V8
6.0L 389 hp (290 kW) V12
Transmission(s)5-speed automatic
Wheelbase115.9 in (2944 mm)
Length199.4 in (5065 mm)
Width75.3 in (1913 mm)
Height56.9 in (1445 mm)
Second generation
W215 CL55 AMG
PlatformMercedes-Benz W215
Engine(s)5.0L 302 hp (225 kW) V8

5.5L 493 hp (368 kW) V8
5.5L 493 hp (368 kW) V12

5.8L 493 hp (368 kW) V12
Transmission(s)5-speed automatic
7-speed automatic
Wheelbase113.6 in (2885 mm)
Length196.6 in (4994 mm)
2004-06 CL500, CL55 AMG & CL600: 196.4 in (4989 mm)
Width73.1 in (1857 mm)
Height2001-03: 56.0 in (1422 mm)
2004-06: 55.4 in (1407 mm)
CL65 AMG: 55.0 in (1397 mm)
Third generation
2008 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG
PlatformMercedes-Benz W216
Engine(s)5.5L 382 hp V8
5.5L 510 hp (380 kW) V12
Transmission(s)5-speed automatic
7-speed automatic
Wheelbase116.3 in (2954 mm)
Length199.4 in (5065 mm)
AMG: 200.2 in (5085 mm)
Width73.7 in (1872 mm)
Height55.8 in (1417 mm)
1993 Mercedes-Benz 600 SEC, a predecessor of the modern CL-Class
2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG
2001 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG
2008 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG (back)

The Mercedes-Benz CL-Class is a full-sized grand tourer produced by the German automaker Mercedes-Benz, which stands for Comfort Leicht in German, or Comfort Light in English.

Originally derived from the SL-Class roadster, it has since been based on the S-Class sedan. Known at first as the SEC and later S coupe, it was spun off into its own line and current name in 1998. The CL continues to follow the same development cycle as the S, though riding on a slightly shorter wheelbase and offering smaller selection of engines, mostly tending towards the high-powered of the range.

The closest competitor was the now-discontinued BMW 8 Series coupe. However, while the performance-oriented 8 series had a cramped 2+2 seating arrangement, the rear passenger volume of the CL and its previous incarnations is large enough to classify them as 2-door sedans by the SAE, making the CL one of the few full-sized coupes that offer a combination of engine power and luxury accommodation.[1]

The present generation of the CL-Class, or C216, is currently available in four models: CL500 4Matic (CL550 4Matic in America), CL600, CL63 AMG and CL65 AMG. The 2009 price ranges from $108,775 to $204,575. The most powerful model of the CL is the most expensive Mercedes-branded vehicle (with the exception of the SLR and the S Class Pullman), slightly edging out its equivalent in the flagship S-Class.


Main article: Mercedes-Benz W126

The CL-class can most directly trace its roots back to the W126-chassis SEC-class of 1981-1991. The SEC was itself a replacement for the R107 series SLC cars, which were essentially lengthened SL roadsters with a fixed roof and rear seat. The W126 SEC was more directly related to the S-Class sedans. The first generation SEC-Class came in four models: 380 SEC, 420 SEC, 500 SEC and 560 SEC. Like all subsequent models, the rear passenger volume of the SEC coupes was large enough to classify them as 2-door sedans by the SAE.


Main article: Mercedes-Benz W140

The next generation was the sleek, redesigned W140-chassis coupe of 1993-1999. Though the coupe’s physical appearance changed little over these years, the class underwent a name change several times. The V8 and V12 coupes were called the 500 SEC and 600 SEC, respectively, in 1993 only. The 600 SEC was the first V12 coupe ever offered by Mercedes-Benz. From 1994-1997, the model names were changed to the S500 coupe and the S600 coupe. The name "CL" was adopted in 1998, and the W140 coupes were called the CL500 and CL600 from 1998-1999.


Main article: Mercedes-Benz W215

The third generation of the CL is the W215-chassis coupé of 2000 to 2006. It is based on the 1999-2004/5 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, though it rides on an 8-inch (203 mm) shorter wheelbase. It is offered as four models: the V8-powered CL500, the supercharged V8-powered CL55 AMG, the V12-powered CL600 and the rare bi-turbo V12-powered CL65 AMG. The limited-edition V12-powered CL63 AMG was sold in 2001 only. All models seat four.

The CL coupes come equipped with the very latest in Mercedes-Benz technology, and the CL is always the first model to receive new technological features (it introduced the refined Active Body Control fully-active suspension system and Bi-Xenon HID lights).The CL-class is among the most popular luxury coupes in the world, outselling rivals such as the Jaguar XK8 coupe and the Bentley Continental GT.

The CL-class has a lengthy list of available features. The following features come standard: climate control, full air suspension, all-leather interior, wood trim, trip computer, CD, navigation system, front heated seats, power moonroof, as well as power door and trunk closing assist. Optional features include a heated steering wheel and voice-activated telephone, as well as front fan-cooled seats.

Exclusive “designo” packages are also available. These packages add custom color metallic paint, custom color Nappa leather interior and exotic wood trims. They are available in three variants: designo Cashmere, designo Espresso and designo Silver.

In European markets, there was even an optional granite trim that took the place of wood. This was never available in the United States.

In 2003 the cars were upgraded with a newer electronics package that included a DVD-based navigation system instead of the CD-based COMAND system. Also, the engine options changed. The CL55 AMG became supercharged and the V12 CL600 had turbochargers added. Both cars produced 500 hp (370 kW).


As with all major German manufacturers (except Porsche) Mercedes electronically limits their cars to 250 km/h (155 mph).

The justification for having two models with the same power (CL600 and CL55 AMG) is that the CL55 AMG is sportier and more responsive, while the more expensive CL600 is more luxurious with a smoother ride. The CL65 AMG is made to order in very small numbers, and is the most powerful CL to date.

The CL63 AMG is the rarest W215 CL of all. It was produced only in November 2001, and just 26 examples were ever built for sale. The V12-powered CL63 AMG was only sold in Europe and Asia. Mercedes-Benz never offered the W215 CL63 for sale; all were sold exclusively through AMG with a base price of £110,000 (~US$200,000).

From 1999 through 2002, the V12-equipped cars feature a cylinder deactivation system called Active Cylinder Control. The feature was dropped when the 500 hp (370 kW) bi-turbo V12 was introduced.

Engine Power Torque 0–100 km/h (62 mph) Top speed
CL500 5.0 L V8 225 kW (306 hp DIN) 460 N·m (339 ft·lbf) 6.1 seconds 250 km/h (155 mph*)
CL600 2000 5.8 L V12 270 kW (367  hp DIN) 531 N·m (391 ft·lbf) 5.9 seconds 250 km/h (155 mph*)
CL600 2003 Twin-Turbocharged 5.5 L V12 368 kW (493 hp DIN) 800 N·m (590 ft·lbf) 4.8 seconds 250 km/h (155 mph*)
CL55 AMG 2001 5.5 L V8 265 kW (360 hp DIN) 530 N·m (391 ft·lbf) 5.7 seconds 250 km/h (155 mph*)
CL55 AMG 2003 Supercharged 5.5 L V8 368 kW (493 hp DIN) 700 N·m (516 ft·lbf) 4.8 seconds 250 km/h (155 mph*)
CL63 AMG 6.2 L V12 326 kW (517 hp DIN) 620 N·m (570 ft·lbf) 4.4 seconds 250 km/h (155 mph*)
CL65 AMG 6.0L V12 BiTurbo 450 kW (612 hp DIN) 1000 N·m (737.6 ft·lbf) 4.2 seconds 250 km/h (155 mph*)

* All are electronically limited


Main article: Mercedes-Benz C216

The new model was officially unveiled at the end of June 2006 and was presented at the 2006 Paris Salon. The W216 is offered in four models, the V8-powered CL550 4Matic, the high-performance V8-powered CL63 AMG and the high-end V12-powered CL600 and CL65AMG . The CL500 is sold as the CL550 in North America. The class is based on the chassis of the W221 S-Class and shares similar design cues together with the CLS-Class. The two-door coupe weighs 2185 kg (4817 lb) and like its predecessor, has no B-pillar interrupting the sleek curve of the side windows. The C216 makes use of the Distronic Plus cruise control, which debuted on the 2007 S-Class. This system is able to bring the car to a complete stop, and accelerate again to the pre-set speed, to keep a pre-set distance away from the car ahead of it. This Mercedes-Benz CL has also debuted with the new Active NightVision program that enables drivers to view the conditions in front of the car despite the dark surroundings. As of the 2009 model year, Mercedes-Benz offers the CL550 in only 4Matic, while the CL600, CL63 AMG, and CL65 AMG are in the standard rear-wheel drive.

Engine Power 0-60 mph Top speed
CL500 4Matic/CL550 4Matic 5.5 L V8 285 kW (388 hp DIN) 5.4s (mfr.) 250 km/h (155 mph)
CL600 5.5 L V12 Twin-Turbo 380 kW (517 hp DIN) 4.6s (mfr.), 4.1s (R&T)[2] 250 km/h (155 mph)
CL63 AMG 6.3 L V8 386 kW (525 hp DIN) 4.6s (mfr.) 250 km/h (155 mph)
CL65 AMG 6.0 L V12 BiTurbo 450 kW (612 hp DIN) 4.2s (mfr.) 300 km/h (186 mph)

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